It feels like months since I’ve finished reading a book. Even an audiobook. I have been consumed… drowning in my personal life. My blogs always fall apart when that happens. There are reasons why this blog has been around for nearly ten years, and every time I start to acquire a small following, it falls away. I am rubbish at balance.
I found out I was pregnant in February, lost all focus on my recreational responsibilities by early April, and lost the baby after a car crash at the end of May. I was – I am – heartbroken.
I am not writing this for pity. I am writing this to explain why I disappear, and exactly how much the written word means to me.
For the last month, I’ve been in a depressed fog. I am prone to depression and the relentless struggle is nothing new, but I have never been so consumed and immobilized as I have been the last few weeks. If there was ever a time I needed to disappear from the cruelties of reality, this was it. On Monday, though, I started to write. I’ve been journalling privately every single day since the loss, but Monday was the first time I picked up the proverbial pen to write some fiction. Fiction, especially fantasy fiction, has been my rock since I was a little girl. There is nothing so tantalizing as escaping into a world where magic is real. Just right now, I could use a little magic.
I wrote a ficlet featuring one of my favorite characters – the disgraced Princess Jessica. It was not spectacular. In fact, it was horrible. The writing was clunky and fractured, and in place of a plot it was an emotional glimpse of a rejected, heartbroken, angry young woman. So, in short, me. Jessica is a fallback character for me – I created her when I was in middle school, and I can’t stop writing her stories. I love the way she manipulates the wind, and how she embraces her past instead of running from it.
The next day, I launched Novlr and wrote 1500 words of The Story Collector. Wednesday, I wrote 1800. Yesterday, I wrote 1600. I intend to write more today. In the interim, I’ve read a chapter of Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik (an early-reviewer book I won in December). I’ve listened to hours of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and my husband and I resumed our listening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Yesterday, we reached the scene where Fred and George Wealsey set fireworks off throughout the castle. We are coming, slowly, back to life.
In the meanwhile, I will flit back and forth as I must. Some days, the world will be bright and beautiful; other days, it will be insufferable. I am diving into my stories – original and otherwise – to find sanctuary, joy, and comfort. And for a little while, that’s okay.
The best part is, I’ve forced myself through a roadblock in The Story Collector and am finally explaining the workings of Ember’s magical gift. So productivity is something worth being proud of. Huzzah.